Kubernetes Secrets

Portworx can integrate with Kubernetes Secrets to store your encryption keys/secrets and credentials. Follow the instructions on this page to configure Portworx with Kubernetes Secrets. Kubernetes Secrets can then be used to store Portworx secrets for Volume Encryption and Cloud Credentials.

Configuring Kubernetes Secrets with Portworx

New installation

When generating the Portworx Kubernetes spec file on the Portworxspec generator page in PX-Central, select Kubernetes from the Secrets Store Type list under Advanced Settings. For more details on how to generate the Portworx spec for Kubernetes, click here.

Existing installation

Previously, Portworx stored credentials/secrets in a Kubernetes namespace called portworx. Only if you upgrade Portworx, edit the DemonSet to use Kubernetes secrets as explained in the following sections.

Permissions to access secrets

When you have upgraded Portworx as explained in the Kubernetes section under Upgrades in the Reference topic, you do not have to create the following namespace and roles. If the following objects are missing, create them using kubectl:

cat <<EOF | kubectl apply -f -
# Namespace to store credentials
apiVersion: v1
kind: Namespace
  name: portworx
# Role to access secrets under portworx namespace only
kind: Role
apiVersion: rbac.authorization.k8s.io/v1
  name: px-role
  namespace: portworx
- apiGroups: [""]
  resources: ["secrets"]
  verbs: ["get", "list", "create", "update", "patch"]
# Allow portworx service account to access the secrets under the portworx namespace
kind: RoleBinding
apiVersion: rbac.authorization.k8s.io/v1
  name: px-role-binding
  namespace: portworx
- kind: ServiceAccount
  name: px-account
  namespace: kube-system
  kind: Role
  name: px-role
  apiGroup: rbac.authorization.k8s.io

Edit the Portworx DaemonSet

You must edit the Portworx DaemonSet to use Kubernetes secrets, so that all the new Portworx nodes start using Kubernetes secrets.

kubectl edit daemonset portworx -n kube-system

Add the "-secret_type", "k8s" arguments to the portworx container in the daemonset. It should look something like this:

  - args:
    - -c
    - testclusterid
    - -s
    - /dev/sdb
    - -x
    - kubernetes
    - -secret_type
    - k8s
    name: portworx

Editing the DaemonSet also restarts all the Portworx pods.

Creating secrets with Kubernetes

The following section describes the key generation process with Portworx and Kubernetes which can be used for encrypting volumes.

Setting cluster wide secret key

A cluster wide secret key is a common key that can be used to encrypt all your volumes. Create a cluster wide secret in Kubernetes using kubectl command. Use the same namespace on which you’ve installed Portworx, potentially, kube-system:

kubectl -n ${NAMESPACE} create secret generic px-vol-encryption \

The cluster wide secret resides in the px-vol-encryption secret under the kube-system namespace.

Provide the cluster wide secret key to Portworx, that acts as the default encryption key for all volumes.

PX_POD=$(kubectl get pods -l name=portworx -n kube-system -o jsonpath='{.items[0].metadata.name}')
kubectl exec $PX_POD -n ${NAMESPACE} -- /opt/pwx/bin/pxctl secrets set-cluster-key \
  --secret cluster-wide-secret-key
Note: The cluster wide key is the secret name where the value to encrypt key exists and does not contain the value to encrypt.

Run this command only once for the cluster. If you have added the cluster secret key through config.json, the above command overwrites it. Even on subsequent Portworx restarts, the cluster secret key in config.json is ignored for the one set through the CLI.

(Optional) Authenticating with Kubernetes Secrets using the Portworx CLI

Verify Kubernetes secrets and authenticate Portworx with Kubernetes Secrets using the Portworx CLI, by running the following command:

PX_POD=$(kubectl get pods -l name=portworx -n kube-system -o jsonpath='{.items[0].metadata.name}')
kubectl exec $PX_POD -n ${NAMESPACE} -- /opt/pwx/bin/pxctl secrets k8s login
Important: You need to run this command on all your Portworx nodes, so that you could create and mount encrypted volumes on all nodes.

If the CLI is used to authenticate with Kubernetes Secrets, for every restart of the Portworx container it needs to be re-authenticated with Kubernetes Secrets by running the k8s login command on that node.

Using Kubernetes Secrets with Portworx

Last edited: Thursday, Aug 11, 2022